Jamal Crawford says he returned too soon from injury, plans to sit Monday vs. Suns

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Jamal Crawford missed three straight games for the Clippers due to a calf injury, before trying to give it a go on Saturday against the Hawks.

But Crawford didn’t last long before realizing he wasn’t yet ready to return, and now believes he came back too soon.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who returned Saturday after a three-game absence, said he may have returned too soon and will miss at least Monday’s game against the Phoenix Suns as he recovers from a strained left calf.

Crawford played only 10 minutes in the first half of Saturday’s 109-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks but sat on the bench the entire second half as his left calf was heavily taped. He missed both of his shot attempts and finished with three points and one assist.

“I just have to get it stronger because I don’t want the same pain to continue to bother me going into the playoffs,” Crawford said. “I didn’t re-injure it but I could tell it has to be stronger for sure to feel confident pushing off and doing certain things.”

There’s certainly no reason for Crawford to rush back.

The Clippers are playing at a very high level, and are currently riding a seven-game winning streak. They’ll want to get everyone healthy for a stretch of games before the postseason begins in order to shore up the rotation and get the team acclimated to playing with certain lineups, but that’s still well over a month away.

L.A. appears to be a more formidable playoff threat than it was a season ago, for a variety of reasons. Crawford’s play has been one of them, so sitting him for as long as it takes seems like the best course of action.